What would happen if John Woo, Max Payne, Quentin Tarantino and a generic grindhouse director made sweet sweet love? WET would be the ridiculous spawn, combining slow motion killing with a crazy grindhouse feel and some hints of Tarantino influence. This means a lot of blood, a lot of dismembered limbs and a lot of ridiculously out of place punk songs.
You play as Rubi Malone; a foul-mouthed vixen with a love for guns and katanas. She is like a trapeze artist at a circus, but armed with guns and swords and a wide array of curse words. In WET you’re thrown into a B-Movie world of hilariously weird villains, drug smuggling, double crossers and Matrix-style action sequences. The story doesn’t really progress; instead it smashes through the TV and punches you square in the nose, just so you can get to the next area with some reasoning behind it.
Rubi is equipped with a wide number of moves, many of which will result in a pile of dead bodies; some without limbs. The main combat feature here, however, is the brilliantly named “Rubi time” (can you taste the sarcasm?). Whilst sliding on the floor or jumping through the air, time slows down and you can shoot as many people as possible before landing or getting up. Luckily, your guns never ever need reloading. Just shoot. Shoot and watch the bodies fall. Even better when you have two guns because the bodies fall much quicker. Then you also have the chance to slice a few arms off with Rubi’s trusty katana.
The best part is when flying through the air, the targetting is only aimed at one of the bad guys leaving you free to aim the second gun at anyone else within the vicinity, providing for some quick and not so clean carnage. When you swing from a pole, fly through the air, cap a few bad guys, hit the floor, slide under a truck and shoot a number of guys in the knees on the other side, the rush of adrenaline is fantastic. It is a shame that this gets really boring quite quickly. WET is essentially this 5 seconds of fun repeated for a few hours with some bad platforming thrown in, which I’ll come to later. Although many of the moves in the game can be upgraded, they never feel like significant upgrades that affect the way you play the game.
The game also follows the same linear structure throughout. You start off with some platforming, meet a small bunch of enemies, kill them, enter a large arena, then rinse and repeat. The arenas sound interesting but, as with everything else, get boring fast. You need to stop the enemies spawning from the many doors around the arena, perhaps taking out the heavy duty minigunners on the way, then slaughtering anyone else left before you can leave. Sure it seems a lot of fun the first few times, but after a while it feels like deja vu.
WET mixes things up with the Rage Mode, which turns the screen into a Mad Men intro-esque visual cover making the slaughter fest a bit more interesting. However, under the fancy skin it’s still the same as fighting your way through the hordes of enemies. This is one of the many parts that makes WET feel quite movie-like. Alongside the Matrix Reloaded style car chase and the sometimes ridiculous battles, WET actually feels like a B-Movie accompanied by the cheesy script and even the grainy filter throughout the game.
The problem with these great action scenes is that the majority of them, the boss battles included, all seem to just be Quick Time Events. As with many such things, it takes the action away from the player and the outcome feels less of a reward than it could be if, say, the player had been the one to jump to the next car.
Now to the platforming. Think Prince of Persia style but not free-flowing and more of a chore than being fun. It’s apparent that the platforming acrobatics have just been stuck in there to fill up the space between the next enemy encounter. It feels extremely slow and cumbersome and, although Rubi vision paints areas to go next with red, it is sometimes hard to see these areas, and you can often find yourself plummeting to the ground. The acrobatics are only ever any fun when flying through a room of bad guys, blasting off the two guns in your hand and should really have stayed as the only sections involving acrobatics.
The presentation is where WET shines. Personally I love cheesy grindhouse B-Movies. I have no idea why but I just find their stupid fun-factor fantastic to watch. WET has this down to a tee. The grainy film effect, the strange adverts that appear every now and then asking you to purchase a cold pickle in the snack bar, the ridiculous soundtrack, crude dialogue and the many many B-movie cliches make WET the ultimate grindhouse experience. The game, however, doesn’t look all that pretty. Sure, the Rage mode is fantastic looking, looking like if Don Draper in the Mad Men intro suddenly got a katana and sliced up the staff at Sterling Cooper, but the rest of the game just looks a bit rough, but then again, maybe that is what they went for. WET doesn’t, however, fill my B-movie gore factor. A few limbs fly here and there and a dude gets a sword in his crotch, but most B-movies have so much blood and gore it’s like an explosion in a Halloween store, but WET just feels extremely tame in comparison. On the other side of the scale, the soundtrack stands out. The punk rock that blasts out as you kill umpteen guys makes you feel like a total badass.
Despite looking how a B-movie should and acting like a ridiculous over the top action shooter should act, WET has absolutely nothing to make you stick around. Just like many B-movies, WET is filled with holes that, if filled, could make this a decent title. If you need your fill of stupid action, definitely give this a rent. But savour those few moments of pure joy as they don’t stick around for long.